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Long range bullet choice for the .308

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Brillo! Oh no! Now i'm really stuck... The only thing keeping me off the Berger was the price, it will add £30-40 potentially to a full day of shooting, and I figured if people were winning competitions with the Sierra they must be ok! Don't forget though, I'm not looking for competition levels of performance, that's simply unreasonable given the rifle, while no longer in a playdough stock, is still a standard factory action and barrel with a rifle basix trigger. How much variation were you actually measuring (weight and base to ogive)? That info will help me decide, given I know the achievable performance of the rifle with a number of other loads I've developed with a variety of bullets that I've used over the last 4 years in this rifle, with the data I kept useful for comparison with your figures.

 

I have developed a load using the Sierra match kings with Lapua brass in an identical Howa set up in .223 calibre with fantastic results, albeit with significant sensitivity to seating depth, but as long as I make sure every round is produced indentically to within the tolerences of my equipment I can achieve just over 1/3 moa out to 300 yards. If I could get that level of performance from the 308 I'd be thrilled.

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Sorry,yes I mean the 2155 155g Serra (once called palma,before that label was transferred to the newer design for the 2156).

 

The 2155 is reasonably priced,as in your post,and has won a lot of competitions (many of course rather restricted to 155 bullets!

I have little doubt that the current Berger is better-but you ruled out the expensive options in your original post,quite understandably.

Brillo has perhaps overlooked that parameter,cost,and I rather suspect most of the better performance is with rather more expensive rifles-as you concede-so we are hardly comparing like with like.

I'd get a couple of hundred 2155,and if/when you are convinced they are not optimising your shooting,get one box of whatever is 'better' and see if it shows on your target,enough to compensate for the considerable price premium.Whats to lose?

 

gbal

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gbal is right. I did overlook the parameter of cost, and considering the kit you describe the #2155 SMK is a really good bullet. So, my apologies for giving you a minor scare. Up to 600 and even 800 yards the 2155 performs well but will never beat a Berger in a custom rifle (but that's not what you are after). I would add though, and I'm sure other's will agree on this, the #2156 new Palma bullet is very finicky to tune. They are known to be jump sensitive and it can be a pain to find the best seating depth, whereas the 2155 is very jump tolerant.

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Brillo-who knows when the old Sierra 155 will become a collectors item,at serious costs-or go out of production and be much sought after-the problem for relatively new shooters is that they don't need the 'temperamental' aspects of some VLD etc bullets,but also ,alas,the cost of Berger hybrids.....I'd not worry too much,unless aiming for competition podium-with a supply of the old 155 sierras,which just work pretty good in most rigs.

 

atb,

g

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To my surprise, I have found that the Sierra #2155s have shot pretty well out to 1000 yards from a bog-standard Remington 700 VS with a 26 inch 1 in 12 twist barrel. I imagine that this will be fairly similar to the Howa's barrel.

 

Laurie on here reckons that this is because the 2155 is a 'tolerant' design that is pretty stable through the transonic zone. Certainly more so than the #2156s or the other modern 155 grain designs would be from a similar barrel.

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Thanks for all the great advice folks, I think that pretty much nails it down! Lucky I asked, I was moments away from ordering a few hundred 2156s.....

 

The relative stability through the transonic zone is music to my ears. The only load I've used beyond 600 yards has been using SSTs which were entirely consistent (compared to performance closer in) at just over 800 yards but beyond 1000 the group size was suddenly huge, which I guess was instability during the transonic phase? They were theoretically going subsonic at 1040 yards and at the time I didn't realise that this wasn't a "line in the sand"...

 

It's a steep learning curve but I'm loving every second and I'd be nowhere without UKV :)

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Hi,

 

This is an older thread, very interesting, and I'm a new subscriber, I am trying to figure out the impact of bore size and chambering on projectile selection, specifically for full bore shooting.

 

My latest barrel is a 12T 0.3075 x 0.298 with nil freebore and I am load testing at present, using Berger FB's, 2156's and HBC's. I am getting around 2970 fps with 46 gr Varget/AR2208/2156. When chambered, I requested this be done to suit the 2156, the groups are still a bit loose (vertically and horizontally) and I am trying to work out whether a longer or shorter bearing surface is a significant factor hence testing other projectiles. the seating depth for testing is 0.020 jump. Neck tension 0.001. The measurements below, courtesy Laurie H's post, confirm the 2156 is the shortest and would therefore give less pressure for a given load.

 

Bearing Surface/OAL

 

Berger FB 155.5 0.265/1.250

Sierra 2156 0.230/1.210

HBC 0.336/1.225

 

Surprisingly I have not found many posts on sites including the LR US teams site and full-bore UK.

 

Any comments would be appreicated.

 

Martin

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I think that, like in Formula 1, our engines' power is growing more and more despite all the associated issues (shorter barrel's life, huge recoil, vertical grouping, high pressures, etc.).

Just a couple of years ago my go to loads were the 155.5 FB for medium ranges up to 600 yds and the 185 jug for 800 yds up.

Today are the 200 Hybrid up to 800 yds and the 215 for 900 and 1000 yds, running at 845 m/s and 825 m/s respectively with very good vertical dispersions.

 

As you can understand the excellent 155.5 FB and co. bullets belong to yesterday F TR.

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However, for full bore, ICFRA rules mean TR shooters are limited to 155 grainers for 0.308.

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Napalmio,glad you are more sorted-yes,it can be a complex business-one key lesson I learned was to take all advice with a good look at what yo were trying to achieve,and whether it matched up to the advice giver's shooting.

There hae been some developments in 308 bullets-to try to get the cartridge better at longer ranges (800+ to a bit ver 1000y). The route is improved BC,but that comes with increased weight (and bullet design).Some design 'improvements may well be so for dedicated cutting edge shooters,but the VLDs have a reputation for being a bit finicky-hence the Berger Hybrids,which are claimed to be much more tolerant-ie easier to get to shoot well.

Some of this goes on in the shooting disciplines that are lilitedto the 308w cartridge-and even to the 'original' Palma weight 155g bullet. This is either some protection that your expensive chamber will not be outclassed within a season,or a restriction on progress-both are true.Open class F shooters take the unrestricted route,and the rapid progress ("space race') that ensued-it has to slow at some point (Mr Newton's laws come in)-so there are carridges that are much more potent than the 308w ( always were,but the emphasis has dropped markedly from the 'big boomers' (300 mags) which just try to outpower the wind,to the more shootable big 7s,and the 6.5/6s which reflect a differnt strategy-get off you shots in the same wind ,which makes rifle handling,and therefor recoil critical.

"Must use (palma) 155g " apart-and there are still a few developments there-the 2156 eg,not as tolerant as the old 2155)-the 308 can be improved-beyond 6007 or so,with better BC/heavier bullets -hence the move upwards for 1000y shooting (to compete with the once bench mark,now outclasses,6.5-284 with 142g BC.585@3065fps,the 308 needs a 220g BC.627@2650,and that is considerable recoil-so the fast shoot strategy isn't on.

For the club shooter,rather than national podium aspirant,the Sierra 2155 is a fine bullet (as are all the scenars-not sure about this armour piercing ability,but if it's a club rule...),and you might try a heavier Sierra for 1000,but it's double the faffing around,when the 155 isn't too bad....you will also notice the recoil in a factory rifle...you will anyhow,but heavy bullets will aggravate it.

 

On that,keep your eye on any 6BR you see,a very competent smaller cartridge,the ballistic equal at least of 308w at club performance (and it has world records at distance to 1000y),and so much nicer.easier to shoot....if we had less wind in UK,it would be more popular (actually,it needs more-one-moderate priced factory rifle too!). Particularly among experienced (dated!) older club members,these new fangled catridges (etc) are either unknown,or 'cannot compete' with the 308w. Just behind the times,but don't say so until you have outshot them,and let them try your rifle.

 

A 155 (Sierra) 308w factory rifle can perform well to 600+,and will do for occasional longer sessions (where wind reading is the issue anyhow),at reasonable costs.If it can shoot around 1/2 moa,it will be good enough for most steels to 600.And be fun.

 

gbal

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However, for full bore, ICFRA rules mean TR shooters are limited to 155 grainers for 0.308.

 

Just to be picky, the ICFRA rule state that .308 bullets must not exceed 156 grains or the factory tolerance for 155 grain bullets where factory ammunition is used. This is an important point otherwise it would rule out using Berger 155.5 FB target bullets in reloaded ammunition.

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Just to be picky, the ICFRA rule state that .308 bullets must not exceed 156 grains or the factory tolerance for 155 grain bullets where factory ammunition is used. This is an important point otherwise it would rule out using Berger 155.5 FB target bullets in reloaded ammunition.

 

No disagreement re ICFRA, my point was more in response to the comment that 155.5 gr projectiles belong in "yesterday's FTR" and references to 200 + 215 projectiles. That may well be the case in FTR however my previous post was about FB projectiles, in particular the relationship, if any, between bearing surface and chamber/bore dimensions for the 3 listed projectiles (Berger FB 155.5gr, Sierra 2156 155gr and HBC also 155gr).

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No disagreement re ICFRA, my point was more in response to the comment that 155.5 gr projectiles belong in "yesterday's FTR" and references to 200 + 215 projectiles. That may well be the case in FTR however my previous post was about FB projectiles, in particular the relationship, if any, between bearing surface and chamber/bore dimensions for the 3 listed projectiles (Berger FB 155.5gr, Sierra 2156 155gr and HBC also 155gr).

 

I think that, like in Formula 1, our engines' power is growing more and more despite all the associated issues (shorter barrel's life, huge recoil, vertical grouping, high pressures, etc.).

Just a couple of years ago my go to loads were the 155.5 FB for medium ranges up to 600 yds and the 185 jug for 800 yds up.

Today are the 200 Hybrid up to 800 yds and the 215 for 900 and 1000 yds, running at 845 m/s and 825 m/s respectively with very good vertical dispersions.

 

As you can understand the excellent 155.5 FB and co. bullets belong to yesterday F TR.

Interesting comments. However, in the UK I don't know anyone shooting F TR who uses anything other than the 155.5 FB Bergers and that includes most of the GB F TR team.

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Not sure all the GB F TR team use the Bergers 155.5 however sure that shot by an outstandig wind reader those bullets are hard to beat.

As I'm not a very good wind reader, the Berger heavies would better "condone" my wind misreadings

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Amleto, now I know what I'm doing wrong. My wind reading is bordering on dyslexia so I'm going to have to try the heavy bullets, ha ha.

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Brill,

I gave the "specs" you need in my post.

 

Best get a dental check out too -those "uber'-juggernauts must recoil a bit !

 

g

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Amleto, now I know what I'm doing wrong. My wind reading is bordering on dyslexia so I'm going to have to try the heavy bullets, ha ha.

Ahah, my dyslexia is almost chronic!

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George, 220 grn at 2659? Wow, I think I'm gonna need bedding compound rather than Fixodent :-)

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Indeed,and that only give parity with yesterdays 6.5x284,itself now well eclipsed by the hot sevens,and short magnums,and medium half magnums,and ...wait for next season!

 

Maybe that route is a young man's prerogative-it's all gone "Litz up" since we /he got the numbers sorted...though that really just confirms what was already ...err "felt"...Newton works fore and aft !

 

We can take some comfort from evolutionary biology though,if physics disappoints-stags with only beta grade antlers,if that,can sometimes sneak in while the big alpha guys bust each other up...some ladies are apparently impatient....

 

I do like the 6BR,maybe more 'over the hill' rather than 'on the hill' though,where 'butch' clout still holds. :-)

 

g

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Just checking bearing surface using my new Shooting Shed BS comparator and find the Berger 155.5 is approx 0.015 shorter than the 2156, I expected the reverse. Barrel is 0.288 x 0.3075 with nil freebore so testing 155/156 gr projectiles with shorter bearing surfaces.

 

Martin

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I've recently changed over to 155gr smk (palma) 2156's in my 308.ive had some great mcqueens with them so I gave them a run at 1000yds on the 13th of this month.i smashed my old pb with them.will stick with them now.

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Barrel is 0.288 x 0.3075 with nil freebore so testing 155/156 gr projectiles with shorter bearing surfaces.

 

Martin

 

 

0.298"? Otherwise, it's well on the way to being a 7mm! :unsure::)

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0.298"? Otherwise, it's well on the way to being a 7mm! :unsure::)

Ha....I must have not been wearing my glasses ! Yes, 0.298.

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Resurrecting an old thread but Ive been looking at the 168gr Hybrid

 

Why are these out of favour with the F'ers with most choosing 155.5, the odd 185 or 200H?

 

They look a good bullet with a good dose of RS52 behind them the numbers look favorable

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I've had excellent results with this bullet in Lapua Palma brass over RS52 at getting on for 3,000 fps. Unlike the 155.5 and 185 BT Long-Range designs, it's fussy about seating depth / jump. To get it to shoot, I had to treat it like a VLD and put into the lands. Others have said the same thing to me. (So far, in 308 at any rate, every Hybrid has behaved differently for me. IME they are NOT the length-tolerant design Berger claims - can't comment on other calibres.)

 

There is still the residual 'taint' of the 168gn weight too for the calibre. When I started with the 168 Hybrid, a surprising number of people said - no good at long range, all 168s are useless for that!

 

Being jump-fussy, that alone understandably puts a lot of Effers off. If it's 'fussy', it might also be unpredictable / inconsistent. The 155.5 and 185 BTs are so tolerant, a slight change in die setting, bit of leade erosion etc doesn't affect performance, so just load the things up and go shoot ... and shoot ... and shoot. One less thing to worry about.

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